Appropriate age difference for dating formula

The rule is widely cited, but its origins are hard to pin down.

In its earlier incarnations, it seemed to be a prescription for an ideal age difference rather than the limit of what’s okay.

For most people, they use the simple rule of “half your age plus seven years” for dating someone younger than themselves, and they use the rule to determine if someone is too old for them is “subtract seven years and double that number.” So if someone is 30 years old, according to these rules, they should be dating people ranging from ages 22 – 46.

That’s a huge range, and you can imagine the mental states and life experiences of someone who is 22 is drastically different than someone who is 46.

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Muhammad might not have been the most reliable relationship counselor, though; he was also concerned about height disparity: “a tall man married to a too short woman, or vice versa … Now, the half-your-age plus seven rule has entered the cultural lexicon.

It’s defined ten times on Urban Dictionary, gets its own section in Wikipedia’s page on age disparity in sexual relationships, is espoused by Barney Stinson on “How I Met Your Mother” and is referenced by and The Awl.

According to the rule, the age of the younger partner (regardless of gender) should be no less than seven more than half the older partner’s age.

Martin, then, shouldn’t date anyone younger than 26 and a half; Lawrence shouldn’t go above 34.

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